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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 21, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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on our broadcast tonight, the next to go. it may be libya and its long-time leader moammar gadhafi. his hold on that nation is unraveling. the light police. did you know the time is coming when we have to stop using regular light bulbs? the law says we have to switch to the new ones, but som people say they won't go along with it. making a difference. a woman who got a second chance at life now giving back, you could say with all her heart. and a new sports champion too young to drink the champagne they poured on him. "nightly news" begins now. egins. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
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good evening. good evening. it might be safe to assume at this point that moammar gadhafi has a bag packed by the back door with a few essentials in case he needs to leave in a big hurry. in this history-making human wave of unrest that is overtaking the middle east. take a look at these countries, we've indicated open unrest in red, simmering unrest in yellow. libya is a big one to fall and it appears it's well on its way. according to the best available reports in a nation that isn't allowing any kind of media to operate, police have killed hundreds of protesters. government buildings are on fire. libyan officials and soldiers are defecting. and gadhafi's own man at the u.n. here in new york today called his boss a genocidal war criminal. in fact there were reports all day gadhafi had already left. this is history we're watching again, and our own ron allen starts us off from cairo tonight. ron, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to
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you, brian. yes, tonight reports from libya describe a growing rebellion. all day there's been reports the government buildings are in flames in the capital, tripoli. an uprising that has raced across the country, and the regime of moammar gadhafi says they will fight to the finish. to the last man, woman, the last bullet. these pictures posted on youtube show libyan warplanes indiscriminately bombing protesters in the capital, tripoli. moammar gadhafi says it's now or never, no turning back, as they confront security forces who witnesses say are firing into the crowds. most of the brutality hidden from the outside world. phone lines down. the internet shut off. foreign reporters banned. this woman was reached by phone. >> we saw the airplanes go by over us. we still hear gunshots.
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and it's getting -- one of my cousins is a doctor and he had to go to the hospital. they were shooting the doctors and people at the hospital. >> reporter: libya's own representative at the united nations repudiated gadhafi calling him a war criminal. >> when people are demonstrating in the streets and orders are given to the armed militia, what do you -- what can you contest? >> reporter: in benghazi, libya's second largest city, epicenter of the uprising, mourners buried their dead, gunned down by troops using heavy weapons. pretty much every victim that died was either shot in the head, chest, neck or on the legs. >> reporter: today in benghazi, celebrating protesters claim they control the city. with the help of sympathetic soldiers who have turned on the regime. gadhafi was last seen sunday on state-run television. his western educated son, saif
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al islam went on television to say his father would never flee. this is not egypt or tunisia he said repeatedly, warning of civil war and rivers of blood if the protests continued. today, new signs of cracks from within. two air force colonels, reportedly refused orders, to attack their countrymen and flew their fighter jets to malta to request asylum. several members of gadhafi's government, including diplomats posted abroad, announced support for the people fighting the regime. foreign oil companies began evacuating workers and families. joining an exodus of thousands. >> it's been quite frightening. we've had gunfire in the night. we saw some chaos in the streets. it's getting worse, not better. >> reporter: late daf there was
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unusual moment on libyan state television. gadhafi appeared, being interviewed by a reporter. he said i'm here in tripoli, i'm not in venezuela. don't believe those broadcasts. it was impossible to independently confirm where gadhafi was, but he appeared to be in front of his home in tripoli. brian. >> ron, thanks. the nation of libya is about the size of alaska. it has about the same population as new york city. it's 90% desert and the median age of the population is 24. the young have been driving these revolutions, and in this case they're going up against an icon, a character, a sometimes cartoonish, often outlandish and very well-known world figure. the man who calls himself colonel gadhafi. here is nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: moammar gadhafi has always been eccentric, but on his most recent trip to the united nations two years ago, he outdid even himself. he raged on for 95 minutes and 8 seconds waving a copy of the
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u.n. charter and then pretending to rip it up. diplomatic cables disposed by wikileaks show that gadhafi fears flying over water, prefers staying on the ground floor, and almost never travels without his trusted ukrainian nurse. >> these statements are all designed to appeal to a domestic audience. >> despite his bizarre behavior less than two years ago, he was exchanging handshakes and dining with president obama and other leaders at an economic summit. and in 2006 it was george w. bush's state department that removed libya from its list of nations that sponsor terror. gadhafi had agreed to end a suspected nuclear program, and turned his equipment over to the u.s. he also agreed to pay millions of dollars to the families of victims of pan am 103, bombed by libyan agents in 1988. it was a diplomatic truce after years of hostility. in 1986 libya was accused of bombing a berlin nightclub frequented by u.s. soldiers. ronald reagan retaliated, ordering an air strike against
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gadhafi's tent, accidentally killing his young daughter. gadhafi escaped unharmed. >> today we have done what we had to do. if necessary, we shall do it again. >> reporter: all through the 1980s, the u.s. said gadhafi was letting plo and ira terrorists train in libyan terror camps. his hold on his people was absolute. gadhafi's iron grip began when i overthrew the king in 1969. now gadhafi himself appears close to being on the losing end of another historic change. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. elsewhere in the arab world, the wave of anti-government protests shows no signs of letting up. today in yemen, tens of thousands of people occupied central squares in four cities, including the capital, demanding the president step down. across the arabian peninsula in bahrain, thousands remain camped out in pearl square, the scene
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of bloody clashes last week. a prominent opposition leader has said he will return to the emirate tomorrow from a self-imposed exile. in the north african nation of morocco, one day after the first protests erupted there, the king said he will not yield to what he called demagogary. and would you believe china, an attempt to launch a jasmine revolution was stamped out with a heavy police presence and a roundup of activists. back to this country and the budget standoff in wisconsin. that could be a preview of battles to come in other states that have to fix the gaping holes in their budgets. this morning as state union employees and their supporters once again took up the protest at their positions at the capitol, wisconsin's governor said on msnbc he is not a union buster, he's a budget balancer. our own mike taibbi is in madison, wisconsin, for us.
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>> reporter: once again today the capitol rotunda was packed with pro-union protesters. some from out of state but most apparently from wisconsin, trying to force governor scott walker to compromise. several times today he said he won't. >> to get wisconsin working again, we've got to have a budget that's balanced. >> reporter: walker is telling the unions they'll have to pay more toward their pensions and health plans, about 8% of their take-home pay on average, and must surrender their collective bargaining power in all areas except wages in order to close the $3.6 billion budget gap. employee unions say they'll consider everything except the loss of bargaining power. >> collective bargaining is the bedrock of what a union is all about. >> reporter: on saturday, 70,000 protesters jammed the capitol. some anti-union demonstrators too, and the state's 14 democratic senators have left the state to deny a quorum for republicans to pass governor walker's bill. >> he's asking us to come back to debate something that's not negotiable.
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>> the deadline is friday and both sides remain unmoved. >> we've met the governor halfway. it's time for the governor to step up and do his responsibility as a leader of the state. >> reporter: this afternoon i heard one protest leader talk to supporters in the capitol rotunda. you better get used to the idea this bill will pass, the republicans simply have the votes. you know the republican governors in other beleaguered states are watching closely. >> mike taibbi up there in madison for us tonight. mike, thanks. we have breaking news to tell you about. for that we're going to interrupt things and bring you a live report on the very latest details. >> reporter: i'm george lewis in los angeles. there's been a major 6.3 magnitude earthquake in christ church new zealand. there are collapsed structures, a number of people dead and seriously injured. the quake occurred just southeast of the city center at a fairly shallow level. one reporter for radio new siouxland described the scene as
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looking like a war zone as police cars and ambulances rushed in to take care of the victims. here's part of the broadcast. >> we have water mains burst, we have surface flooding. we've got buildings damaged inside and out. we have the hospital evacuated, people possibly trapped in buildings and reports of serious, we think, injuries. >> we just don't know if there are people under this rubble. >> rocks are falling down outside christchurch. this giant rock has just fallen on the building and you can see it's crushed the building there. it's terrifying. >> reporter: new zealand authorities say some damaged hospitals have been evacuated. the exact number of casualties tonight is unknown. officials are still assessing the situation. and the latest tonight from christchurch, new zealand, is the center of town has been
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heavily damaged. a number of people trapped in buildings. the exact toll of dead and injured still being tallied. brian williams will be back with more news right after this. impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 80% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. [ male announcer ] when the food we eat has nutritional gaps... so do we. but with more key nutrients than one-a-day essential, centrum fills those gaps better. centrum. complete from a to zinc. to london starts with arthritis pain... and a choice. take tylenol now, and maybe up to 8 in a day.
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priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. now to our special segment here tonight. we ask only slightly tongue in cheek do you know your light bulbs are in danger? we're talking about the old-school light bulbs, the ones that turn on fully when you turn them on and provide that warm glowing light at a cost. the day is coming when, because of an act of congress, we all have to get rid of our traditional bulbs and switch to those energy-efficient bulbs and a whole lot of people just don't want to. our chief environmental affairs correspondent, anne thompson, takes a look at the debate over the switch. >> if you're like me, haven't you thought of a light bulb as just a light bulb? >> reporter: at 131 years old, thomas edison's bright idea may be due for a makeover, but the government-mandated transition, from the incandescent to the compact fluorescent, the cfl, isn't winning many style points. >> do they sell regular light
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bulbs now? >> oh, no, no, you can buy the regular ones. >> reporter: jorge fernandez is the lighting bier for the largest seller of lights, home depot. he thinks the cfl should be an easy sell. >> this compact fluorescent light bulb costs about $1.50 and lasts seven to nine years and uses 75% less energy than the incandescent. >> reporter: that's not good enough for a growing group of vocal consumers. >> i really like light to turn on when i turn the switch. >> reporter: home design columnist marnie jameson is doing a slow burn at the time it takes cfls to warm up and the light they give off. >> it's uneven and looks unattractive. >> reporter: and the mercury inside. >> if one crashes on my kitchen counter, i've got mercury poisoning. >> reporter: not quite. glass thermometers have 100 times more mercury than a cfl, according to underwriters laboratories. if one breaks, the environmental protection agency advises airing out the room, sweeping up the debris, placing it in a sealable
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container and putting it in the trash outside. hardly reassuring. some worry what cfls will do to our landfills. >> here's my hoard. >> reporter: so jameson is not convinced. >> i'm going to stockpile the incandescent bulb. so i have them until i find something that i like. >> reporter: the switch is mandated by a 2007 energy bill signed into law by president george w. bush. but in 2011 the light bulb is a political football. >> instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which light bulbs to buy. >> reporter: for light bulb makers like ge, a part owner of nbc universal, the phase-out begins next year. by 2014, incandescents will no longer be on store shelves. disappearing along with incandescents, some jobs. nbc news was in winchester, virginia, last year when the light bulb factory in business for 35 years shut down, and 200 employees were put out of work.
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now some in the federal government think they have a better idea. they want to restore freedom of choice to america's lighting department. >> i don't think that's appropriate. >> reporter: texas congressman joe barton is co-sponsoring legislation to repeal the change. >> it's just kind of a politically correct do-gooder issue. we don't think the government needs to mess in that area. >> reporter: in the detroit suburb of roseville, it doesn't take an act of congress just to price cut to convince some consumers. so now when these are comparable, you're selling cfls at a rate of three to one? >> about three to one with the pricing, yes. >> reporter: dick bevington is plugged in. >> how many do you have in your house? >> everywhere i can put them in a socket, that's where they're at. >> reporter: and you're counting your pennies? >> yes. i'm retired, so i have to count them. >> reporter: an enlightening debate that has some taking stock, and others stocking up. anne thompson, nbc news, roseville, michigan. when we come back here
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the uconnect touch system on the 2011 dodge journey controls the radio, media player, heated seats, climate control, navigation, phone and more. this means that if you call shotgun on a dodge journey, you've just inherited a lot of responsibility. now lease the new 2011 dodge journey mainstreet for $299 a month for well qualified lessees. the sport that proudly calls itself the biggest spectator sport in the nation, nascar, had its best day yesterday in about a decade. mostly because of a young man just two decades old. yesterday was the 53rd running of the great american race, the daytona 500. and while it started out somber as the tenth anniversary of the
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death of a beloved icon, the rest of the day belonged to a young man in a big hurry, the youngest man ever to win the big one. >> unbelievable! >> at just 20 years of age, trevor bayne rocketed past 42 other drivers to win the granddaddy of them all, the daytona 500. he was just 19 going into this past weekend, and he's still not old enough to drink the champagne that was sprayed on him in victory lane. it was just his second big league race. he came up the way most do, go-carts at first, then local small tracks in his home state of tennessee. a modest kid who led his team in prayer before the race. >> i keep thinking i'm dreaming, i really do. >> trevor bayne survived the race as much as he won it. because of a quirk of the track and the cars, a strange aerodynamic pattern developed in practice. the drivers found they did better in pairs of two, with one car plastered up against the
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back bumper of the other. the car doing the pushing was in turn pulled along in the draft of air. it led to a harrowing race. the lead changed a record 74 times, and early on the wreck they called the big one. nascar now has a young new star. the irony is, they lost their last big star ten years ago. under deep blue skies, every one of the 180,000 fans knew what yesterday was, the tenth anniversary of the death of dale earnhardt, the driver of the iconic black number 3 car. so on the third lap, the fans fell silent and 180,000 people held up three fingers in tribute to the man who's been gone ten years now. little did anyone know the race would be won by a kid who was just ten himself when dale earnhardt died. and this youngest man ever to
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win the 500 did it with the oldest established team in nascar, the legendary wood brothers. they date back to the post-moonshine era and great drivers like tiny lund, cale yarborough, a.j. foyt, buddy baker, junior johnson and now the list is still growing. up next here tonight, converting a new lease on life into making a difference for others. r these nasal allergies. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris. to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i nipped my allergy symptoms in the bud. omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com. [ smack! ] [ smack! smack! smack! ]
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finally here tonight, a california woman who is making a difference. she'd had everything she'd ever wanted in her life until a sudden, serious illness threatened to take it all away. a second chance brought her back. now she is giving back. her story tonight from nbc's kristen welker in fillmore, california. >> reporter: ava kaufman was once a professional dancer who toured the world. >> beautiful. >> reporter: at age 47, she fulfilled her biggest dream in life, becoming a mother. >> i adopted her when she was 12 hours old, and i believe that we were just meant to be together. >> reporter: jade is now 12 years old, and a skilled equestrian. ava had it all. but in 2008, her life was
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shattered by a mysterious illness. her once tiny frame ballooned to more than 200 pounds. >> i had gotten so weak that i was walking with a walker. >> reporter: fearing she was dying and concerned for jade's future, ava turned to a friend. >> i said, "you have to promise me that you'll make sure nothing happens to jade." >> reporter: doctors diagnosed her with a rare autoimmune disease. her heart was failing. >> she developed heart failure very rapidly and very severely. she was the sickest of the sick. >> reporter: and then, a moment that changed everything. doctors found a heart for ava. the transplant took place on her birthday. and when she woke up, ava made this promise. >> i just promised god that if he would let me come back and be jade's mother, that i would spend the rest of my life trying to help people. >> reporter: and she's kept her promise. >> i had a heart transplant two
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years ago. so this is a really important decision. >> reporter: ava now dedicates her free time to teaching high school students about the importance of organ donation. and comforts people who are waiting for new hearts, like earl. ava spent months at earl's bedside as he waited for his transplant. >> just made me believe i was going to make it through. >> you just appreciate everything more. >> reporter: doctors say her recovery is a miracle. but for ava, the real miracle is having a new life with jade. kristen welker, nbc news, fillmore, california. and that is our broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being here with us as we begin a new week. i'm brian williams. we, as always, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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we begin with developing news. good evening. >> turmoil and some fearful moments tonight in new zealand. an earthquake measuring 6.3 has rock the city of christchurch. >> christchurch is that nation's second largest city and a busy tourist destination. this is the second major earthquake to strike that area in just five months. there are report of several deaths and very significant damage. >> let's bring

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